NoMa, one of DC’s newest walkable neighborhoods, and site of the 2013 Leadership Summit walking tour. Photo by Noma BID, via Flickr.
How can startup companies in DC contribute to making great neighborhoods, and how can neighborhoods attract more startups?
In a panel discussion and reception hosted yesterday evening by Smart Growth America, ElevationDC and iStrategy Labs, Washington, DC’s emerging tech community convened with advocates for better urban development to discuss how startups are changing the city’s real estate, and how the city can support startups through better development strategies.
Baltimore Street in Kansas City, MO’s Crossroads District. Photo by Chris Murphy via Flickr.
This Thursday we’re hosting Tech in the City: Startup Communities in Startup Places, a conversation about DC’s startup companies and the neighborhoods they call home. Follow the conversation on Twitter later this week at #TechintheCity.
Small tech startups are coming together in cities across the country to build communities of innovation and collaboration. Why are these communities taking root in the places they do? And what can cities do to foster these leaders of the new economy?
It may seem counterintuitive for competing companies to move close to one another, but there are reasons for startups to work together. As Brad Feld explains in his book Startup Communities, startups can be more successful, create more jobs, and attract more talent by working together to create an inclusive community of people who gather together to share ideas.
Dozens of cities in the United States are now home to one or more startup communities. These clusters of companies are often grouped around a shared resource like co-working space, a tech accelerator or university. It takes more than that, though, for a startup community to flourish. In city after city these communities are forming in neighborhoods with a common set of characteristics.
I call these neighborhoods Startup Places. Whether in former industrial neighborhoods, a city’s downtown or an historic district put to innovative new use, Startup Places have places to gather, a dynamic mix of people nearby, and affordable commercial spaces. These neighborhood features meet the needs of startup communities by giving startup leaders places to meet fellow entrepreneurs, mingle with new ideas, and find flexible office space affordable enough for a new business. Here’s a closer look at how neighborhoods like these come about.
YOU ARE INVITED
|Washington, DC is one of the best places in the country for tech startups, and the city’s great neighborhoods are helping make that possible.
Join us for a panel discussion and reception about the intersection of smart growth development and DC’s startup community. Weigh in about how startups are changing DC’s real estate, and how the city can support the startup community through better development.
Leading the conversation will be Peter Corbett, CEO of iStrategyLabs; Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning; and Ilana Preuss, Vice President and Chief of Staff of Smart Growth America.
Chris Leinberger at CNU DC’s Live.Work.Walk event.
Urban dwellers and apartment hunters everywhere are familiar with the term “walk up,” frequently used to describe an apartment building lacking an elevator. But at a recent event hosted by the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) in Washington, D.C., attendees learned about a different type of WalkUP – the “walkable urban place.”
Chris Leinberger, President of Smart Growth America’s LOCUS, was a keynote presenter at Live.Work.Walk. D.C.’s Future Growth, presented by the Washington, D.C. chapter of CNU on March 11. In his presentation, which opened the full-day educational event, Leinberger gave an overview of “The WalkUP Wake Up Call,” a report which emphasizes the economic potential of walkable, urban places in greater Washington, D.C. and how the region can serve as a model for the country for future real estate development.
Washington, DC’s Yards Park in the Capital Riverfront neighborhood. Photo via Flickr.
Office renters, apartment seekers and shoppers are all vital parts of creating a great, economically resilient neighborhood. What development strategies attract these people? As Christopher B. Leinberger’s new research explains, walkable streets and transit choices are increasingly important in Washington DC and across the country.
Leinberger, President of LOCUS and Research Professor at The George Washington University School of Business, sat down with the Washington Post recently to discuss his most recent research, “The WalkUP Wake-Up Call,” and the future of development in the Washington DC region.
Washington, DC’s Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates Metrorail and Metrobus service in the region, brings large, tangible benefits to the DC-area economy. A new report from WMATA, prepared by AECOM and Smart Growth America, details just how big these benefits are.
“WMATA Regional Benefits of Transit” (PDF) examines Metro’s impact on several aspects of the DC-area economy, including how public transit supports businesses, workers, families, visitors, and the region’s largest employer, the federal government.
The report found that Metro is an outstanding investment of public funds. Access to Metrorail significantly boosts property values and tax revenues for the city. Real estate located within ½ mile of a Metrorail station represents 27.9% of the area’s tax base on just 4% of its land, including 68.1% for DC, 15.3% for Virginia, and 9.9% for Maryland.
Metro supports businesses, and economic activity tied to Metro’s presence is critical to the success of the region. Claude Anderson of the Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Association is quoted in the report’s executive summary:
We have come a long, long way from the bad old days of a deserted, dilapidated and dangerous downtown during the evening hours and few destination retail and entertainment neighborhoods. The establishment and growth of vibrant areas such as Penn Quarter, Ballston, U/14th Street corridors are directly attributable to transportation access for patrons, visitors and employees.
Collectively, Metro saves DC-area families $342 million per year in car operating expenses. Home values may increase near rail stations, but families save significantly on transportation costs each year.
This week’s round-up of Complete Streets talk across the country, from the first inklings of policy development in New Hope, Minnesota to an article in Albany, New York’s Times Union on how Complete Streets are part of comprehensive cancer prevention strategy. [Continue Reading "Quick Takes: Mid-October..."]